Wojciech Szczesny says he’s targeting a final clean sheet of the season against Norwich City that would secure him the Premier League Golden Glove award.
The Pole has 16 lock-outs to his name so far, the same number as Petr Cech, but with the Chelsea keeper ruled out for the final game of the season the Arsenal number 1 has the chance to pick-up a personal accolade that would top-off a fine year between the sticks.
Speaking to Arsenal Player after yesterday’s 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, Szczesny said:
“I think I’m level with Cech, and I must admit it was in my head for the last 10 or 15 minutes of the [West Brom] game and I didn’t want to concede.
“We’ve had a fantastic defensive record at home and we kept it going here. That’s something that we want to keep next season. If I win the Golden Glove I would love it but it doesn’t matter right now.
“We knew that we didn’t have to win this game but I think it’s always better to leave on a high. The fans are going to go home happy and it’s a good taster before the FA Cup final.
“That’s what it’s all about now. We want to prepare for the cup final, obviously we’ve got the Norwich game, which we want to win. But we want to focus on winning the trophy for the fans because they’ve been incredible for us this season and they deserve the trophy.”
Should he play against Norwich on Sunday it’ll be the second time in three seasons that Szczesny has played every Premier League game; an impressive record given he’s only 24.
He was of course dropped for a couple of months last season but the competition with compatriot Fabianski has driven him to new levels of consistency since. Will he get a start in the FA Cup final? We’ll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker says the Gunners must maintain their intensity going into the FA Cup final recognising the importance of momentum at this stage of the season. Ahead of next weekend’s dead rubber game with Norwich, the German has called on his teammates to train and play hard.
“I think everyone is really up for the cup final and everyone really wants to win it,” the BFG told Arsenal Player. “That is the target and we’ve got one game to go and we want to take it very seriously.
“When you switch off, it’s hard to switch on again so we want to keep the focus and intensity high in training. But as you know everyone is looking forward to the last game and even more to the FA Cup final.”